Smugglers and Primates in the Library


The library hosted two authors this spring as part of the Middle School Author Series: Kate Milford and Eliot Schrefer. Both writers are acknowledged favorites at Saint Ann’s. Milford’s most recent book, Greenglass House, was named an honor book by the Saint Ann’s Mock Newbery Committee, and Schrefer’s latest, Threatened, was the favorite book of all among the students in the library’s National Book Award reading group.

Milford talked to fifth graders about how she created the magic-tinged smugglers’ town featured in her book (which itself had its genesis in a story she wrote for an assignment in her writers’ group). Schrefer, who spoke to the seventh grade, told students how he became fascinated with the nonhuman primates featured in his novels (he saw an ad in a cab for Bonobo jeans and wondered what a bonobo was) and elicited oohs and aahs by showing slides from the time he spent at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo. At the end of each talk, students had a chance to ask the authors questions and, of course, check out their books!

Milford’s and Schrefer’s visits were part of the Middle School Author Series, which is run jointly by the library and the English department and aims to bring an author to present to each middle school grade each year.